T Levels and Digital Skills Events: 4 Key Takeaways

Date: February 16, 2023
Categories: 11-15 | 16-18 | 19-24 | 24+ | Featured

Last week, representatives of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority attended two events – the T Level Intermediary Ambassador Network conference and “Creating a Simplified Talent Ecosystem for All” with Microsoft.

At both events, we listened out for some key takeaways for young people that could help you think about your career in the future. Whatever options you’re currently considering for education or work, there’s something here that could spark some ideas about what’s on offer in Greater Manchester.

Learn about the benefits of T Levels

If you’re considering T Levels, or just want to learn more about them, understanding the key benefits of this type of opportunity is vital. At the T Level conference we attended, a company in tech and one in construction explained the benefits of T Levels for both their businesses and the learners they take on placement.

  • Real project work – the learners they take on placement undertake real project work with the business and get true hands-on experience
  • Future proofing their business – taking T Level students on placement has benefits for both the students and the businesses: the students can demonstrate their skills, and the business gets innovative new ideas from future talent
  • Job opportunities – for learners, it’s a great introduction to prospective employers they might like to explore in the future

The Greater Manchester tech sector is huge

At the Microsoft event, we learned plenty of things you might not have known about the tech and digital sector. For example, did you know that Greater Manchester is the fastest growing tech hub in Europe? The tech sector is a massive growth area at the moment, with around 85,000 tech vacancies in GM right now. Plus, on average tech careers pay 51% above the national average, so if you’re thinking about your options, this area could represent a massive opportunity.

There are demographic considerations as well, with women currently being under-represented at all levels in the tech sector. Employers are keen to change this, so if you’re interested, it’s a fantastic time to get involved. The top skills that the tech industry need are leadership, change management and project management. Whether you’re a budding leader or have an eye for detail and can keep track of a fast moving project, your skills are incredibly valuable in the tech sector.

Find out more about the tech and digital sectors on the GMACS sector pages:

T Levels are growing fast in Greater Manchester

T Levels are a relatively new introduction, but they’re growing fast. In Greater Manchester, there will be 15 providers delivering T Levels in 11 areas of the workforce from September 2023. This means there’s plenty of opportunity to get involved and to make the most of this new type of qualification. There are also plans to expand this in future, so even if you don’t see a T Level that interests you at the moment, keep checking back as there are more courses being introduced all the time.

For more info on T Levels, check out the GMACS page:

Meet key employers in the tech sector

At the Microsoft event, we met some key employers in the Greater Manchester tech sector. Of course, this a huge area with a lot of businesses and organisations you could work for, but these are some of the largest employers in the area with schemes that you could use to develop your career in this area.

You’ve likely already heard of Microsoft – but did you know they are partnering with GMCA to deliver the Get On programme, which will support 30,000 people to find roles in the tech sector? This programme is all about delivering a joined up talent ecosystem and helping people to understand where their skills could fit in with tech businesses in the area.

North West Tech Talent Group
The North West Tech Talent group is a collective of tech employers in the North West who come together to collaborate on work which raises the profile of roles in the tech sector, and helps people start their careers. They recently launched a campaign right here on GMACS, where you can meet real young people who joined the tech sector from a wide range of pathways.

University Academy 92
UA92 are now offering digital apprenticeships where you can gain recognised qualifications across key digital platforms, like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. Their courses are industry led, so you’ll get real, valuable skills that you can use to kickstart your career in digital or tech.